Effective teacher preparation programs are essential to building a network of educators capable of meeting the needs of a diverse student population. Yet, many teachers do not have the training or resources available to improve skills, especially those who have just started in the profession.
In various surveys given to Kentucky teachers and leadership to gauge the working conditions, a majority of new teachers reported needing help in the following areas:
- Addressing various learning styles or disabilities.
- Assessing student improvement.
- Using data to improve student performance.
- Closing achievement gaps of minority and low-income students.
- Mitigating teacher burnout, and handling other mental health issues.
To address these concerns, the Council works with colleges in aligning education curriculum and instructional practices to meet teacher needs. Further, the Council advocates for higher college admissions criteria for teacher education candidates, ensuring that future teachers have the skills and capabilities needed to succeed in an ever-evolving classroom environment.
The Council also awards grants, funded through the U.S. Department of Education, to improve teacher quality. The annual Improving Educator Quality program funds professional development partnerships between public schools, colleges and other educational organizations. The program provides schools and districts, along with their partner organizations, an opportunity to pursue innovative methods to improving teacher effectiveness.
- Kentucky Teacher Need-Sensing Survey Results (KYSTATS)
- Kentucky Teacher Equity Report (KYSTATS)
- Kentucky Teacher Preparation Feedback Report (KYSTATS)
According to the Kentucky School Report Card, Kentucky’s African-American teacher workforce during the 2018-2019 school year was a mere 3.33%. That percentage is noticeably low when compared to Kentucky’s African-American student population of nearly 11%. This is just one example of how the demographics of Kentucky's teacher workforce does not align with the student population.
Educator diversity - students seeing teachers and school leadership who look like them - is very important to student success. Research shows that there are several positive outcomes to a more diverse school workforce.
- Schools staffed by leaders and teachers of color expose students to positive role models and counteract negative stereotypes that misrepresent people of color.
- When students of color have a teacher of the same race, they tend to do better academically, and they are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to a four-year college.
- Students of color report having more positive school experiences when they have a teacher of color.
The Council’s Commonwealth Educator Diversity Program, in partnership with the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, distributes grants to public institutions to increase the diversity of teaching staff in areas of the state with critical shortages.
Last Updated: 12/29/2021